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The Serious Money

On that point, the Ace/10 Front Count is a legitimate advantage strategy. But its major shortcoming is that it has no idea when a "rich" shoe (lots of high cards) may turn "lean" and you should therefore be cutting back your bets. To be "up to snuff' on that, you simply have to keep on tracking the cards as the pack plays out! That's the part that separates real card counting from a "single checkpoint" strategy like the Ace/10 Front Count.

Now, "real" card counting systems have been around for a long time. In general, they are not a recreational tool. These count systems keep methodical track of most of the cards that have been played all the way through to the shuffle. In doing so, they can convert a 1/2% basic strategy disadvantage into about a 3/4% net edge in a typical shoe game. That would be a 11/4% overall shift in the percentages. To master one of these systems requires at least scores, if not hundreds of hours of practice. Very few Online Blackjack Games players are both willing and able to persevere to that level of expertise with a full scale card count which is why there are so few card counters out there.

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When to Use Poker Books
Use poker books as early in your learning process as possible. You don't need to throw money away when learning, and you don't want to pick up habits you have to unlearn.

You should not, however, buy a collection of books and just bury yourself in your library for weeks without playing a hand. You'll learn best by reading and then trying to implement what you've read by going back and forth between your books and the tables.

Perhaps just as important, you shouldn't pass your poker books on to a friend when you've finished with them. Rereading poker books after a year or two is an excellent idea, at least with some texts. Once you have more practical experience under your belt, you may pick up subtle points that just blew right past you the first time you read a book. You also may find that quite by accident you have drifted away from a practice your book taught you to employ.
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